Under Floor Air Conditioning Promotes User Satisfaction – AET Flexible Space

Under Floor Air Conditioning Promotes User Satisfaction

University of Essex Silberrad CentreAET Flexible Space underfloor air conditioning systems offer fully functional indoor environmental control; with integrated controllers available for all units and full connectivity with house BMS using the latest flexvisor monitoring software.  Underfloor systems are commonly used in office environments, utilising the plenum beneath a raised floor as the ventilation zone.  Fully conditioned air is fed into the plenum by zonal downflow units (CAM), and then supplied into the workspace via fan terminal units (fantile).

Facilities managers are frequently challenged by the pace of office churn, often restricted by fixed, stand-alone services with minimal or no control.  Complaints of draughts and cold feet are common and so many times one sees ceiling diffusers switched off or covered with sticky tape and paper in an attempt to divert air when workers are based in a less than ideal position.

AET Flexible Space systems are modular and adaptable. Plug and play fantiles easily interchange with 600mm raised access floor panels allow fast reconfiguration of office layout and easily accommodating minor changes and major churn.  Equipment features simple yet sophisticated controls for individual users and facilities managers offering superior control of indoor environments compared with traditional ceiling based or wall mounted air conditioning units.

Fantiles have integrated fatronic controllers allowing users local adjustment of temperature and fan speed to suit personal comfort.  Local adjustment of CAM units by service and maintenance engineers is easy accessed via the flexmatic display mounted on the unit face.  Systems can be now be configured with full connectivity using the latest flexvisor software, allowing remote adjustment and monitoring. FM’s can use the flexvisor system to monitor usage and consequently streamline operational efficiency and provides a user friendly and cost effective solution to keeping the BMS updated.

It is interesting to note that when users are free to choose their environmental temperature they often choose higher temperatures than engineers design for; as a result considerable savings in operational energy can be made.  A rise in setpoint temperature of 1oC will often reduce energy by as much as 10%. The FM can observe that users are selecting higher setpoints and can re-set the zone units accordingly, enabling fully functional control.

Air conditioning is often the biggest source of complaint in office environments with around 20-30% of workers not happy with their temperature; either being too hot or too cold.  The AET controls overcome this problem by providing user adjustment locally at the fantile or CAM and remotely via the flexvisor monitoring system.